BLU is back with some affordable new off-contract smartphones; this time around featuring a new design and better specs. Let’s take a look at the BLU Studio X Plus and see what it’s all about.
The BLU Studio X Plus is BLU’s $149 off-contract smartphone. I’m just gonna say it right now: It’s probably going to be a tempting offer for a lot of you guys because it features a very nice design and some pretty solid specs like a 5.5-inch HD IPS display, a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 8-megapixel camera sensor, 4G HSPA+, microSD card slot for expandable storage, and best of all, it will be upgradeable to Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Now to get inside this box, all we have to do is simply slide off the top-hand cover and we’ll see the BLU Studio X Plus sitting right on top wrapped up in some protective plastic. And it does feel pretty sturdy as I’m setting it down to the side. It definitely has some weight to it and it doesn’t feel cheap.
We will take a closer look at this device in a moment because underneath the Studio X Plus, we’ll first find a BLU user manual on top of a SIM card installation manual. Pretty simple stuff here. There’s a microUSB charging cable to charge the device in here, as well as some headphones with mic and music playback support controls. There’s also a U.S. wall wart with USB port so you can plug in that included microUSB charging cable. A 2600mAh battery is also included but needs to be installed to the device later. Below all that is a protective case, which is included with all BLU devices and is always nice to see. It looks like the back of the case has a matte plastic look to it and the sides are clear — it has a nicer look than the completely clear cases usually shipped with BLU devices, so that’s pretty cool. And as if that weren’t enough good news in here, we also have a screen protector, which is also something we generally find with BLU devices.
Now if we take a look at the BLU Studio X Plus and take it out of the plastic bag, this device actually does look pretty darn good. I’m really impressed with how sturdy it feels on the hand. There’s a nice metal frame around the device, and the back is actually pretty grippy, and it’s definitely not slimy like other cheap plastic phones that we see in this price range.
There’s a volume rocker on the left hand side, a power sleep on/off button on the right hand side, and a microUSB charging port and 3.5mm headphone jack located at the top of the device and nothing on the bottom. Usually we see the opposite sort of arrangement, so that’s a bit unusual. The front of the Studio X Plus is home to a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, a 5.5-inch HD IPS display and really not much else since this guy uses software navigation buttons. The back is home to an 8-megapixel camera sensor and flash. There’s a BLU logo and speaker port at the bottom. I really like how the back cover feels on the hand. It’s just a million times better than slimy plastic, which I was kind of expecting to see here since this device doesn’t really cost much. But it’s also removable so we can pop in the 2600mAh battery, and we will also find slots for the microSD card and SIM card.
After powering up the device, updating all the apps, and whatnot, it actually runs pretty well. Best of all is that it comes pre-loaded with the Google Now Launcher to replicate that stock Android experience we all know and love. Everything besides the launcher is very stock Android, including the notification panel and settings. The biggest downside is that the Studio X Plus ships with Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box and not Android 5.0 Lollipop. But it will be upgradeable to Lollipop, we'll just have to wait a little bit longer.
So with the looks of the software, hardware, and just the price tag of $149, this will probably be a seriously tempting offer for anyone in the market for a sub-$200 smartphone. I was told it's already on sale at Best Buy so if you guys want to check out their listing, I will leave a link to do so down below the description bar. With that said, let me guys know what you think of this device in the comments.